On July 17, 2015 we had the opportunity to tour General Electric Transportation's locomotive plant in Erie, Pa. The occasion was a monthly meeting of the Western Pa. Water Pollution Control Association, which I have been a member of for 34 years! We meet monthly at an industrial or municipal facility in Western Pennsylvania to enhance our knowledge of water treatment process technology. On this day, we were primarily interested in learning about GE's wastewater treatment technologies. However, for those that attended, there was a special treat in store - a tour of the locomotive assembly line! About 40 members of the association attended the meeting and a luncheon that followed. This report includes photos and information we learned that day as well as what I was able to find on the Internet.
This video shows both the overhead crane in action and the export locomotive being moved out of the assembly area on a flat car.
GE Transportation's sprawling facility covers 340 acres and parts of it date back 100 years or more. There is a two-mile test track along the eastern edge of the plant where locomotives are tested for different durations, depending upon the customer's requirements. With 5,500 current employees, it is the largest employer in the Erie region, but there are often layoffs when orders are slow. 2015 is shaping up to be their biggest year yet with a projected 500 locomotives produced. Below is a detailed map of the facility.
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